Whether you like it or not, Beyonce's newest album has generated a lot of buzz. I've read recent articles condemning Beyonce saying that she isn't a good role model for young girls because of the profanity in her music. It does contain profanity, but I'd like to point out that underneath the sick beats and slang words, there is meaning to each song. I think those writers miss the fact that Beyonce's music and confidence gives other women confidence. It's almost contagious. The album not only tells the stages of her grieving process, but also honors black women of America. I'd like to highlight some of the best parts of her new album and show that there is not only a deeper message, but it's also beautifully written (not to mention the visual album is also very artistic, offering more dialogue that helps you understand the situation and the stages she goes through).
The first few songs really show her anger, but as the album slows down, you can see the hurt and pain she's gone through.
Right off the bat, it's implied in "Pray You Catch Me" that perhaps Jay-Z hasn't been very faithful.
"You can taste the dishonesty
It's all over your breath as you pass it off so cavalier"
In "Hold Up," she addresses that he's been coming home late at night and perhaps getting too friendly with other ladies. She sings that "they don't love you like I love you." In the visual album, she passive-aggressively swings a bat around at cars while she sings. She knows who she is, and she's not going to let him get away with it. She'd rather be crazy than treated badly.
"What's worse, lookin' jealous or crazy?
Jealous or crazy?
Or like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately
I'd rather be crazy"
"Don't Hurt Yourself" is an anthem that you could belt angrily in your car after someone tried to treat you like shit. I personally like the lyric "who the fuck do you think I is?" It's empowering.
"Uh, this is your final warning
You know I give you life
If you try this shit again
You gon' lose your wife"
"Sorry" is another sassy anthem that shows Beyonce isn't messing around. It also introduces a woman named "Becky" as one of Jay-Z's mistresses. She sings of Becky's "good hair", which doesn't just imply that she has really great hair, but an issue black women have had to deal with since slavery. Slave owners would separate out the women into hair type and skin tone, placing the women with straighter hair and lighter skin to do the housework. Women with kinkier hair and darker skin were sent to work outside in the fields.
"Looking at my watch, he should of been home
Today I regret the night I put that ring on."
"Suicide before you see this tear fall down my eyes."
"He better call Becky with the good hair"
"6 Inch" is my personal favorite for when you need a shot of badassery to get through the day. This song highlights the fact that Beyonce is a hard worker who makes her own money and has a feminist feel. Anything can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
"Stars in her eyes
She fights for the power, keeping time
She grinds day and night."
"She fights and she sweats those sleepless nights."
In "Daddy Lessons," she opens by saying "Texas," where she was born and raised. She sings about her father and how he raised her to be a strong woman. It also seems like a little warning for Jay-Z, because her father taught her how to shoot.
"He held me in his arms
And he taught me to be strong."
"My daddy warned me about men like you
He said 'baby girl, he's playing you.'"
By "Love Drought," the album takes a slower turn and touches on the sadness that she's been through. She sings about the love she has for him and wonders why he's done this to her.
"I don't care about the lights or the beams
Spend my life in the dark for the sake of you and me."
"Sandcastles" is another favorite of mine, because the vocals really show her talent. It's a slow song that truly reveals her feelings behind all of the anger.
"We built sandcastles that washed away
I made you cry when I walked away
And although I promised that I couldn't stay
Every promise don't work out that way."
What is it about you that I can't erase?
"Forward" is sort of a continuation of "Sandcastles," and it's also a turning point. Beyonce seems to want to move forward and perhaps forgive?
"It's time to listen, it's time to fight."
"Go back to your sleep in your favorite spot just next to me."
"Freedom" takes a whole new turn that focuses on racial injustice. It has an empowering feel that encourages to break the chains society places on people; specifically black women. Kendrick Lamar raps:
"Ten Hail Marys, I meditate for practice
Channel 9 news tell me I'm movin' backwards
Eight blocks left, death is around the corner
Seven misleadin' statements 'bout my persona
Six headlights wavin' in my direction
Five-O askin' me what's in my possession
Yeah I keep runnin', jump in the aqueducts
Fire hydrants and hazardous
Smoke alarms on the back of us
But mama don't cry for me, ride for me
Try for me, live for me
Breathe for me, sing for me
Honestly guidin' me
I could be more than I gotta be
Stole from me, lied to me, nation hypocrisy
Code on me, drive on me
Wicked, my spirit inspired me
Like yeah, open correctional gates in higher desert
Yeah, open our mind as we cast away oppression
Yeah, open the streets and watch our beliefs
And when they carve my name inside the concrete
I pray it forever reads."
"All Night" is the point of forgiveness. Beyonce sings about true love and how it can never be broken. During the outro, Beyonce says "Oh how I've missed you my love".
"Our love was stronger than your pride
Beyond your darkness, I'm your light."
"They say true love's the greatest weapon
To win the war caused by pain."
"Nothing real can be threatened
True love breathes salvation back into me
With every tear came redemption
And my torturer became a remedy."
"Formation" is a kickass ending for this album that focuses on black power and Beyonce's heritage. Also very appropriate to blast when you need to slay.
"I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money, but they never take the country out me
I got hot sauce in my bag, swag."